“I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness.”Jesus in John 12:46
“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.”Hafez, 14th century Persian poet and mystic
“Don’t you know yet? It’s your light that lights the world.”Rumi, 13th century Sufi poet and mystic
Ghosts, goblins, and possibly students currently enrolled in Monsters University will soon be knocking at our doors demanding candy. The real fun is in giving them due respect with our gasps and looks of horror! This ancient practice of acknowledging all that frightens us is good for the soul. It reminds us that in our human experience we are finite and there is much that can overwhelm us. That recognition draws us to look into ourselves more deeply to find what is undying and triumphant.
Greeting what frightens us teaches us that the only way to uncover what is glorious is to first welcome what is dreary. Learning to love ourselves in the midst of anxiety, rather than trying to extinguish it is the gospel, the Good News, and it is this—no matter what the circumstance, God is there, right with us, right within us. In accepting this deep truth, something possibly unexpected happens—our puniness dissolves, the anxiety shrinks. We discover the great treat underneath the trick of fear. We are not alone, we are not frail, we are not trapped, for our deep identity is the love and power of God.
Our mystical, spiritual understanding of Jesus’ words tells us that when he encouraged us to believe in him, he did not mean to believe that he was the only human being that was one with God. No, Jesus was telling us to see God’s light in him and the goodness that came from it so that we might see that light also in ourselves. He was bringing the good news that God is not absent from the world. In fact he said, God is the very midst of us. Our work is to recognize that light and to let it shine. As we face fears we find that beyond them is the love of God. We find the light that shines in us. Happy Hallowe’en!
In the Love and Light of the Christ,